Sunday, 22 February 2009

Personal Reputation And Privacy In The Digital Space

There seems to be a bit of a buzz at the moment about how we manage our reputations and privacy in the digital space. Cam Beck has just written a great post about How to Avoid the Perils of Blended Networks I agree with Cam and everyone who says it's an important topic. Where I differ slightly is on the matter of whether we are dealing with a strange and new phenomenon. In my comment on Cam's article I suggest forgetting about the technology, and delighting in the novelty and navigation complexity of the digital space and just get back to simple social common sense.

Just reading through these 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources to Protect Your Online Reputation its clear that digital technology provides us with a host of challenges and tools to help us. Check out Mihaela's post about how SearchWiki Fuels Defamation too.

At the end of the day though, I think that we're really gullible if we believe that we aren't being followed, searched for, and tracked. That's what the whole digital space is about isn't it?

As a mind-game I'm tempted to ask 'where is the difference' between what we do today with our Facebooks, Plaxos, Friend Feeds, Twitters, Second Brains, Mixx's, Reddits, Stumbleupons. etc etc that is any different from life in the early twentieth century, the sixteen hundreds, Roman times? We are social animals and the fundamentals of our communication interactions has not changed for thousands of years. Reputation, Privacy, and Indiscretion have always been with us and always will be.

We talk of the global village. Perhaps we should behave like we actually live in a village then! A place where people know all about our comings and goings and the ways we think and behave.

Swish those digital net curtains folks. Thinking that we are special by giving the digital experience a new special name like 'Blended Media' simply distracts us from the point. Maybe we should aspire to getting the people we connect with to remeber that people will always ask... "Who was is that Masked Man?"

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